Members of the County Assembly of Kakamega are undergoing a rigorous capacity building training on the operations of committees.The bulk of business in the House is generated through committees.
Therefore, it is important for the Honourable members to be equipped with skills and knowledge on how to perform in committees. Committees make and analyse county reports, invite or summon county officials for interrogations, monitor county projects and programs, recommend impeachments of top county officials among other powers.
Committees are crucial because they increase the amount of work that can be done, ensure that issues can be debated in more detail than in plenary sessions, increase the level of participation of Members (MCAs) in discussions, enable them to develop expertise and in-depth knowledge of the specific committee’s area of work, provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MCAs, something which is not possible in a plenary sitting of an Assembly, provide an environment for the county Assembly to hear evidence and collect information related to the work of a specific committee.
Different committees have one or more of the following functions: They monitor and oversee the work and budgets of county executive and hold them accountable, they consider and amend Bills, and may initiate Bills, they consider private members’ and county legislative proposals and special petitions, they examine specific areas of public life or matters of public interest, they take care of domestic Assembly issues.
While officially opening the workshop, the Speaker Hon.James Namatsi pointed out that committees are the bedrock of activities and programmes of any legislature.
“I urge the Honourable members to be steadfast in committees and work closely with your secretariat, which will always offer technical,logistical advise and administrative support,” Hon. Namatsi.The majority leader, Hon.Phillip Maina said Honourable members will continue undergoing various trainings to ensure they are productive in their respective committees.
“Learning is a continuous process. As legislators we are expected to yield results so that the people who elected us are able benefit from our representation at the Assembly,” Hon. Maina said.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benard Isindu challenged his colleagues to make use of the training while the minority leader, Hon. David Ndakwa underscored the need for effective oversight by committees.
The acting Clerk, Mr. John Simwah said members of the staff who serve in committees are well trained to offer efficient and professional services.Kakamega County Assembly has 26 committees, including the Speaker’s Panel.
The five-days workshop themed – Setting the stage for the Third Assembly: Towards understanding the roles and functioning of Committees of County Assembly- which began on Monday, 24th ends on Friday, 28th October.